Software : Spider-Man Story Studio (Crayola)

Staff Only
Edit Review
Edit Title

This review was first published on: Jun 2012.

Background...

I bought this "Spider-Man Story Studio" believing that it was some sort of comic. It's not really. In fact, it's a plastic pack full of pain.

Inside you will find:

  • 15 colored pencils.
  • 6 sheets of glossy paper.
  • 30 sheets of regular paper.
  • 3 plastic binding strips for holding paper together.
  • 1 online registration key.
  • nothing of any value at all.

In Detail...

Spider-Man Story Studio (Crayola)
Year 2011 : SM Title
Publisher:  Crayola, Ltd.
Staff Only
Issue
Review

So, you've bought this Story Studio pack? Well done. Now go to Crayola's website and register online. Give them your date of birth, your name, email address, and choose a password. Now register your pack by entering the 12 character secret code. Now you can access the online software system.

Your first task is to create your own super-hero! Choose from some different hair styles, glasses, eyes, nose, hat, etc. Can you create a character who looks even vaguely like you? I couldn't.

Even more frustrating, there's a mechanism where you can upload a photo of yourself. Then, once you've done that... the system, well, I don't know what the system did with my photo. But it didn't seem to make any difference. It just swallowed it somewhere, and said "Thanks!"

Oh well. When you've finished chosing your features, then you can choose your superhero outfit from a collection of nearly identical options. Finally choose some colors, and you're ready to go.

There are three different Spider-Man comic stories you can "create". Each one features a colored front page, and ten black and white pages. You are the co-star in each one, as you fight bad guys alongside Spider-Man. At three or four points in each "comic", you can modify the artwork slightly. The bad guy is throwing a car, and you can select from "police car", "taxi cab" or "regular car". Basically, you can make cosmetic changes, but you can't change a damn thing of any importance.

Finally, you can save up to ten different story configurations. You can Print or Download the "comic". Yay! That's the part I've been waiting for!

Except the "Download" button didn't work for me. The computer just sat their for a while with a progress bar, and then suddenly... nothing happened.

In General...

I really, really hate this thing. But I'm not exactly sure why.

No, I take that back. I am sure of why I hate it. I'm just not sure which bit to hate first.

I hate the complexity of the whole thing. I hate the online registration. I hate the remembering of passwords, and the "Accepting the Terms of Use".

I hate the system-generated reminder that my birthday is only 52 days away. An automated "congratulations, it's nearly your birthday" message from a computer pretty much bursts through the top of any scale of insincerity you could ever hope to create.

I hate the impermanence of it all... knowing that one day the website will just break, and Crayola will never get around to fixing it.

I hate knowing that this is one collectible that is meaningless to hand down to my children.

I hate the shitty story line. I hate the shitty artwork.

I hate (in advance) the shitty quality I know I would get from my shitty printer after printing this thing out.

I hate how it would fade in the next couple of years to look even shittier.

I hate the fact that my printer is low on yellow, and wouldn't even print anything even if the download feature on the website wasn't broken.

I hate the fact that I can create whatever persona I like, but it makes no difference at all to the story.

I hate the fact that when I create a super-hero persona for my four-year old daughter, she gets given a massive pair of tits.

Overall Rating...

Bollocks to this shit. Bollocks to it all.

Am I just getting old? Is it just my imagination that everything these days demands access to my personal information on one hand, while it vigorously controls and restricts my own "digital rights" on the other?

Even just sitting on my desk, this plastic pack exudes an aura of evil which makes me physically unwell to just be near. I would take it outside and burn it, except I just know it would use that final act to punish the world as it melted, by filling the air we breathe with a cloud of deadly toxins.

Please don't buy this piece of crap.

Just take the money you would have spent, and donate it to your local kindergarten.

Footnote...

I'm not sure what the point of this is. As a comic, it's terrible. As a computer game, it's dreadful.

If you want some online super-hero fun, try Marvel's Website. They have a heap of online games.

If you want a decent comic, just find your local comic store.